Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

For Caregivers – On the Road…with Parkinson’s Part II

As I mentioned in Part I of this series, we’ve experienced a few challenges as my husband and I have traveled with Parkinson’s. Here are two more stories that have taught me lessons about traveling.

Appearances may be deceiving

After spending a weekend in New York City for a family event, we decided to take an earlier train home since snow was in the forecast for later in the day. We hustled to the train station and arrived just as they were calling for general boarding. We stepped in line, showed our tickets, and rode the escalator down to the departing platform. We did not know at the time, that the train was already pretty full. As we navigated the train, no seats together were available. We kept moving but the crowded and congested aisles of the train started to impede our ability to find seats and navigate.

As we neared the front of the train, we spotted a handicapped seat. I suggested that Karl take that seat and that I would find seating somewhere else. The stress of finding seats and making sure Karl found a place had taken a toll on my tough care partner exterior. I tried to pull myself together but tears came. I gathered my shaken composure and headed back to where Karl was sitting. Little did I know that, during my absence, Karl had been asked by the conductor to prove his disability. Hearing this made me even more shaken and upset. Watching this all take place, a gentleman kindly gave up his seat to me and I was able to sit near Karl. I thanked him profusely for his graciousness.

Although we try to foresee and anticipate most travel scenarios, there are times when the kindness of strangers has been a welcomed helping hand!

Pre-planning + timing = a memorable experience

Karl and I celebrated our twentieth wedding anniversary in 2016. We decided to travel to Hawaii to celebrate this memorable occasion. The one looming challenge for the trip was the long flight from our home on the east coast to Hawaii. We were fortunate to receive great advice from a frequent traveler who suggested we fly through Texas instead of California. This would save a few hours of flying time but would also give us both a chance to stretch our legs before the long flight from Texas to Hawaii.

We also came up with the strategy that Karl should stay on his east coast medication time schedule and add an extra dose when we arrived in Hawaii. This strategy worked great as we arrived and Karl experienced no difficulty walking through the airport.

When we departed Hawaii, most flights to the mainland leave Honolulu in the evening. We decided that we both had to be very diligent about time management and medication dosing. This meant waking up in the middle of the flight to take medications ahead of our landing in Texas. It was an inconvenience but proved to work well. When we landed in Texas, Karl’s medications were working and we were fortunate that the gate for our next flight was only a short distance from our arrival gate!

We were extremely grateful that our pre-planning of the medication schedule worked. We have experienced times when planning just doesn’t work.  We try our best to take each moment, one at a time, to get to where we need to go. When things don’t go as planned, be flexible.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.